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Pines District to open Montessori Learning Center in 2015Submitted: 11/07/2014
Story By Lauren Stephenson

Pines District to open Montessori Learning Center in 2015
ST. GERMAIN - Each child learns differently. The Northland Pines School District wants to offer more educational options to students and their families.

The district will open a Montessori Learning Center for 4K through second graders next fall.

It will be located at the St. Germain Elementary School.

Montessori programs create individual learning plans for students.

"It's a lot more hands-on. It's a lot more child-centered. A lot more individualized. There is a two to three hour block of time in the morning, where it's uninterrupted work time. Where the kids really have a choice in the activities that they have to do. I mean, obviously they have to reach the standards that are dictated by the state...but they have more freedom and choice in when they do that and how they do it," said Eagle River Elementary and Northland Pines Middle School Principal Tony Duffek.

The district will begin accepting applications on November 10th.

It will have room for 40 students next year.

The school will be open to children from both inside and outside the district.

The district will hold a lottery if more students apply than the district has room for.

It will expand the center to include third and fourth graders the following year.

"The reality is some kids may learn better in a different learning environment. Like I said, we do have the SOAR Charter School which is 5th through 8th grade. We are actually going to expand that on up through 12th grade over the next couple of years so we wanted to have an option for kids 4K through fourth grade as well," Duffek added.

One unique aspect of a Montessori education is students who are different ages share the same classroom.

"Multiage, there's lots of good benefits. Some of the main ones are, first of all, the older kids in it get to act as leaders and mentors to the younger students. The younger students then learn from having those more mature students in that classroom," Duffek explained.

The state Department of Public Instruction gave the district a grant to pay for planning the program.

The deadline for applications is November 21st.

You can find a link to the application and more information below.

Related Weblinks:
Northland Pines Montessori Learning Center Information

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